After a disappointing first round, the De La Salle University Green Spikers seem to be catching their stride.
The squad from Taft dealt a painful blow to Final Four contenders Far Eastern University Tamaraws, taking a four-set decision 26-24, 19-25, 25-23, 25-21 in the second round of the UAAP Men’s Volleyball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
As what has become customary this season, the Green Spikers held early leads in each set only to see them dwindle later.
La Salle had a five point lead in the first set, 16-11, before FEU slowly climbed back to force a deuce. Luckily for La Salle, FEU was in a giving mood, surrendering back-to-back errors and the set.
Errors became the trend for the Tamaraws’ demise. With the exception of a lively second set, FEU’s usually fiery attack gassed out in the last two frames. Their miscues came at the most inopportune times.
La Salle, on the other hand, punctuated on their erring opponents limiting their own miscues and finding offense through nifty combination plays.
FEU tallied a season-high 42 errors to La Salle’s 30. Able to get great passes consistently, La Salle also generated 50 attacks to FEU’s 38.
DLSU team captain, Raymark Woo amassed a game-high 22 markers while his fellow open hitter, Arjay Onia delivered 12 markers.
Veteran middle blocker Greg Dolor led a balanced FEU score sheet with 12 points, graduating opposite hitter Jeric Gacutan had 11, while open hitter RJ Paler managed nine markers.
“This is what was expected of them all along,” said DLSU head coach Ron Dulay. “The key for us now is to sustain this momentum moving forward para maganda ang finish namin sa season.”
La Salle is undefeated in two matches in the second round and now boasts a 3-6 record. FEU, who had an inside track on a Final Four slot heading into the second round, drops to 5-4.
The Green Spikers take on perennial general championship rivals University of Santo Tomas (3-5) on Wednesday, March 16, 10:00 a.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre. FEU takes on Adamson University (6-2) on the same day and venue at 8:00 a.m.
DLSU (3) – Woo 22, Onia 12, Asia G. 5, Dimayuga 4, Frey 4, Bacon 3, Jose 2, Dumago 1, Calasin 0, Movido (L)
FEU (1) – Dolor 12, Gacutan 11, Paler 9, Bugaoan 8, Garcia 8, Solis 6, Barrica 5, Margate 3, Quiel 1, Silang 0, Suarez 0, Villegas 0, Marmeto L. (L), Marmeto R. (L)